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Have Your Say: What's Your Most Impressive Real World Drive?

Continuing our series where your comments are the real story, we want to hear about your interesting real world driving experiences.

For most of us, the cars we drive in racing sims are just a fantasy, and we won't get near them in real life. But with over 2,000,000 members here at RD, we know that many of you have had that fantasy become a reality, at least temporarily.

Let us know in the comments what the most impressive car you've ever driven is. This is not a contest, so whether your coolest drive was an open-wheel race car or a Lada, we want to hear about it.

Some of you have driven in real-world race series, or compete in weekend events with your hand-built track toy. Others may have a friend or know of a local rental agency that lets you feel the rush of an exotic car for a period.

Or perhaps it was a ride-along. Have a professional driver push a car to its limits, be it on or off road, drift, drag or otherwise, experiencing what a vehicle is capable of as a passenger can make for an equally riveting experience.

We want to hear it all. Let us know the type of car that's most impressed you to drive so far in your life, and the story behind how you made it happen.
About author
Mike Smith
I have been obsessed with sim racing and racing games since the 1980's. My first taste of live auto racing was in 1988, and I couldn't get enough ever since. Lead writer for RaceDepartment, and owner of SimRacing604 and its YouTube channel. Favourite sims include Assetto Corsa Competizione, Assetto Corsa, rFactor 2, Automobilista 2, DiRT Rally 2 - On Twitter as @simracing604


Track day in a proper racing MINI, new version. Silverstone
My Alfa 155 2.0 track day car (BTCC Tarquini replica) Mallory Park
My Alfa 75 track day car Mallory Park
MG montego racing car track day . Donington Park
The best though?

2 wheels i'm afraid, my Aprillia 250cc race rep at Donington Park.

Oh and any time i find myself in a rental car...... most fun ever.
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I 've had many good moments in my rallycars the last 18 years.

On this stage i was fastest in my class and ninth of 120 competitors overall, beating lots of cars that I shouldnt stand a chance against in my very underpowered (almost stock) BMW 325.
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My wife offered me a track session at the track "l'anneau du rhin " with a porsche 993 gt3 cup .
(nice track available for assettocorsa)

It is difficult to explain what my feeling has been.

The car is a real race car, made just for that, and or to be driven on road.
To make it simple, it is a beast for a normal guy.
The slick tires have no limite, the clutch is incredibly short an stiff, you think you have broken something everytime you change à gear.
The engineering screams. It is scary, just scary.

It has been an incredible and fantastic experience
2012 Nissan Altima. Best "drive" was the overall 4 years of driving to work in Anchorage, AK (I grew up in sub-tropical New Orleans) & finally understanding the skill rally drivers actually have when I lost grip on an icy road and having basic knowledge of countersteering helped me save it from going into oncoming traffic.

Although I did beach it in a snow bank in work's parking lot one morning. So you win some, you lose some. Thankfully I lost the one where the only danger was to my pride.
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My wife offered me a track session at the track "l'anneau du rhin " with a porsche 993 gt3 cup .
(nice track available for assettocorsa)

It is difficult to explain what my feeling has been.

The car is a real race car, made just for that, and or to be driven on road.
To make it simple, it is a beast for a normal guy.
The slick tires have no limite, the clutch is incredibly short an stiff, you think you have broken something everytime you change à gear.
The engineering screams. It is scary, just scary.

It has been an incredible and fantastic experience

A track session in a real sport car is definitely a VERY GOOD gift ! :thumbsup::thumbsup:

(L'Anneau du Rhin is very popular indeed. Also because of its very good pricing :thumbsup: and its very accesssible location in the middle of Europe)
My Corvette Z06 at the Daytona road course. I was at 175 MPH, and ran out of knuts to go any faster. The car wanted to keep going faster, however my raisins said "NOPE". Aside from that experience, I was lucky enough to be a passenger in a Ferrari World Challenge car testing at the Miami Homestead road course crankng 190 MPH.
the most memorable driving ive done was amazing because of the roads, not the car, although a mildly prepped miata is pretty damn fun. running around up in the appalachian mountains on likely some of the best roads in the world is about as good as it gets behind the wheel of a car.
Got into the initial rounds of junker endurance racing in 2009 & 2010 via ChumpCar (now called ChampCar after ChampCar graciously allowed the name transfer https://champcar.org/web/). Initially planned as a 24 hr race, the first event at Portland International Raceway had to be redflagged at about 2a or 3a because the fog was so thick you couldn't see more than 5 car lengths. Race restarted once the sun came up. Our Fiat X-1/9 survived despite my filling the radiator with mud on my night stint by charting a new route through turns 7-8 and onto the back straight because I couldn't distinguish the edge of the track at 1:30a due to the mud flowing over that section of pavement, descending fog, and the dimmest headlights. Sometime after the restart, the alternator died, so we were swapping batteries every pit stop.

My second event was in a Toyota MR-2 (which looked like a refugee from a Mad Max movie with the rollcage outside the cockpit) at Streets of Willow Springs. Corner stations reported seeing coyotes come watch the race after sunset. My first stint came about 10p and I managed to hit the same car twice. About 3a, we lost a rear wheel and couldn't retrieve it until dawn. Spare parts on hand for hubs/bearings were the wrong ones, but somehow the owner cobbled something together. He took a stint (made him do it to prove the repair would work!) and then I was in for my second stint which was fun, but the ominous rattle of rods was beginning and the motor expired during the next stint or two. More interesting times were had by a BMW team whose motor broke early and the phoned around the junkyards to get another BMW delivered on site. After looking the delivery over, they decided to move the rollcage & other gear to the new car rather than swapping motors. It made its debut in the morning, but the new car's motor also expired before the checker flew.

The final event for myself, at PIR, was the 2010 season's end. The car was an MGB that had rolled at Thunderhill and was still in good enough shape to continue racing it. Unfortunately, the carbs were assembled with a wrong part, so it wasn't running properly and the correct part wasn't on hand. I think only two of us, myself being one, bothered taking full stints.

Ultimately, the stress of keeping a junker racing for 24 hours on top of other stresses over the next couple years convinced me to bow out. After retiring from employment, I returned to SCCA autox in 2018 with a Ford Focus ST and am finding that scratches my driving itch... only attending autox events, I put 20k miles on it last year!
Pepper at Nationals west course first turn copy.png
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As I used to race in the late 90s/ early 2000 (FIA C license) the most challenging "track" that I raced on was definitely the Nordschleife (which is actually not a real race track anymore but a legal road without speed limit;)).

I raced there first with my 964 RS and then later with my 993 GT2 :inlove:

I would say that whatever the race car is, the Nordschleife is quite a challenge if you drive to your limits and/or to the limits of the car.

And it took quite a while to memorize the whole track with all the turns, corners, different lines due to the different type of curbs etc....

In terms of real race track, my favourite race track was however Brno (in the Czech republic) :thumbsup:
After reading some of the incredible drives on here, I'm almost a little sheepish to post this, but by far the best real race driving I have ever done was at my vintage club's final race last fall (I run a 1967 Formula Vee).

Now, just to keep things grounded, this is "just for fun" racing - no points or trophies, just enthusiasts enjoying some good natured competition and showing off our cool old cars. This is *not* proper competitive Vee - SCCA, etc, just a bit of vintage fun. Also, this being the last race of the year, we had a relatively low turnout (only 12 Vees or so) and many of the acknowledged faster guys in the club were not in attendance.

All that being said...

...something really clicked for me this weekend. In previous events, I had really struggled just to keep mid-pack but, at this race by the end of the weekend I was running at the sharp end of the grid. Even keeping the caveats above in mind (just for fun, smaller than usual field, etc) it felt AMAZING. It might sound corny, but truly one of the thrills of my life. The guy I am racing in the purple car is a long time club member and acknowledged as a very solid driver, so to be hanging on his gearbox would have been way above and beyond my expectations for the weekend!

It was also the first time my wife watched me race in person, so I wanted to get the win for her. Unfortunately, as I was sizing up the purple car imagining where I'd try to make a move (on a track with essentially only 1 true passing zone, and a tricky one at that)...my gearbox broke!

It was still a thrill and I can't wait to get back out next Spring.

As someone who has, over the span of a decade or so, gone from goofing around in Forza 3 with a cheap little Xbox 360 wheel to actually owning/racing his own vintage race car, I have to say to my fellow sim racers - if you ever get a chance to drive on a proper race track...DO IT! Sim racing is awesome and has brought me so much happiness over the years, but nothing can compare with the feeling of being on a real track (even if it's only for a few laps!)

Awesome to read all these stories. Thanks for sharing, everyone! :) No story to contribute from me TBH. Love sims, but barely drive IRL day-to-day, never mind "in anger" IRL. Anyway.

Kinda waiting for the mic drop post like Matt Orr (Empty Box) talked about in a recent video. I guess back in the day on the iRacing forums, there was a discussion like this about "how fast have you gone in a car?", and frickin' Richie Hearn or someone comes in and says "I did 263 MPH on the back straight at Fontana in CART". Geez... that's just mental.
Haven't been myself behind the wheel, but experienced NASCAR and Indycar drive sitting at (NASCAR) or behind (Indycar) the driver in Disney Speedway.
My 130hp hybrid Toyota on Michelin Sport 4 !!! Never driven such a fantastic car !!
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The most serious test in real life was in the Caucasus on an icy mountain road in the spring. You had to drive very carefully and at the same time not to stop. And the photo is now when it's all in the past.
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My Marina Blue M5 Comp....;) Comfortable and luxurious when it want it to, yet available full-on beast mode with a push of a button....;)


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My most impressive drive: Long long time ago...late 80's ealry 90's when I was ateenager myself together with my uncle and nephews we 'raced' in Tilburg, Netherlands, my hometown. It was called Tilburg Raceway and it actually was an abandoned piece of road/viaduct at the east side of the city. We had so much fun with eachother. I felt king of the road with my reliable Opel Kadetski (and later Volvo, Simca, Ford Capri, Granada etc).

Banger Bang Racing comparable with Wreckfest nowadays ;)

And in the early 2000's at Zolder Belgium free lap racing on two wheels.
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Mmh, usually I don't participate in these kind of "surveys" (shy boy here :x3:). But this is pretty special to me.

So, I should say the most spectacular moment was in a 360 Modena at Vallelunga Circuit, back in 2003, when there wasn't yet the "Campagnano" section (the "classic" layout on AC, to be clear). The "Cimini-Trincea" part, given the high speed achieved, was damn scary.

Still, the most vivid, intense and terrifying experience was "driving" my first car on the road all around the Lake Campotosto (Abruzzo, Italy). I say "drive" but in reality it was more of a crazy race-like behavior (I was 18, so... you know).
Old narrow roads, epic elevation changes, almost no guardrails at that time and (most importantly) pratically a deserted road, for all its 37+ km.

It was my road. I knew every single curve, every blind spot, the points where I could dare ("kissing" the edges) and where not. It was my personal Nordschleife.

And this was my wonderful companion of adventures:


My beloved Fiat Tipo 1.4 DGT! She stayed with me for more than 420.000 km of pure adventures (well, most of them actually frightening, I'd say). At the time, I was a nice idiot and she was my splendid "Supercar"!

PS: ...about Supercars, my Tipo even appeared in a small article of the well-know "evo" magazine, eheh!

PS#2: and for those curious, here it is: https://goo.gl/maps/XPBfm7Axc6fmZ63R7
At ATP Papenburg Germany we do driftdays for >10 years now. I do some trackdays at Assen and Zandvoort , the Netherlands, and sometimes we're visiting the Nürburgring with a group of car enthousiasts. Back in 2019(spring ) we were there and we were able to drive the 24H layout completely (GP F1 Strecke & Nordschleife combined) .

Weapon of choice(and still) BMW M2 Competition (with racing brakepads, crank hub fix and now about 500-530BHP)


This is me in my ex BMW 1M @ 'old' Zandvoort. From 27s that's the Luyendyk /Bos Uit turn which now is banked because of F1) I managed to drift it completely...sweaty:)

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